Laptop users know the standard battery gauge that Windows uses leaves much to be desired. It’s very small and doesn’t offer much information. Fortunately there are alternatives. One of them is Battery Bar from Osiris Development. For starters, battery bar sits on the task bar and is much larger than the standard Windows battery icon and therefore much easier to see. That feature alone is worth the price of admission, but it offers more.
Clicking on the BatteryBar icon changes it from percentage of charge / discharge to a runtime / charge time format in hh:mm.
When hovering over the BatteryBar icon, a popup appears with additional information including the percentage of battery wear, which will be particularly useful for road warriors who will want to have advanced notice of impending battery doom.
BatteryBar comes in a free and a paid version. The free version contains all of the features listed above and should work well for most users. The paid version is inexpensive and comes with some extra features such as graphing of battery profiles. BatteryBar is light on resources and offers up necessary information in an easy and straightforward manner. BatteryBar is available for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. The free version can be had here.